The beachfront at Hastings is called TheStade. It's long and broad, with go-karts, crazy golf and boating lake, plus a whole load besides. There's no harbour so the fishermen pull their boats up onto the beach, and sell fish and other seafood from ice counters alongside. They store their equipment in Net Shops - multi-storey blackwoodenhuts, which cluster like a small village at the foot of the cliffs. Here you'll find the Fisherman's Museum and the Shipwreck Museum, the former with an old boat to clamber on, the latter full of salvage and stories. The area's full of bank holiday bustle - kids and grans, beer and scallops, salt and vinegar. Hastings boasts two historic cliff lifts, one up the East Hill and one up the West. Ascend to the east (in the rattling wooden carriage) for a breezy stroll across gorse-edged heathland. I walked further, until the deep wooded valley of Ecclesbourne Glen forced my descent. A breathless climb beside the stream, naturally concealed, convinced me I should return one day and walk onthroughthecountry parktoRye. I'm writing this sat on the cliff-top barrier at the top of the West Hill, looking down on the rooftops of the Old Town, watching the start of the tourist season in full swing below. Bring it on!